When seeking the perfect place to settle, one of the first criteria on your list should be moving to a safe city and neighborhood. You certainly don’t want your children growing up around danger, and you wouldn’t want to be looking over your shoulder every time you step out the door. Not sure where to go for that large city atmosphere? Consider settling in one of these top safest cities in the US based on 2013 data of cities with over 500,000 people.
1. El Paso, TX
In a city with over 675,000 people, crime rates–violent and property–are at a low 29 crimes per 1,000 residents, reports Neighborhood Scout. Your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 236 while your chances of becoming a victim of any crime is 1 in 35. While this is not considered one of the safest communities per crime rate, it does feature the lowest rates for cities of comparable size, a title it has held for the last four years. Narrow your search even farther by choosing the right neighborhood in El Paso to settle.
2. San Diego, CA
San Diego is home to over 1.3 million residents. Even that, however, doesn’t affect the safe quarters you could be living in. San Diego’s crime rate comes in at a mere 28 crimes per total residents, and only four of those annual crimes (per 1,000 people) are violent. Your chances of being a victim of violent or property crime is 1 in 35.
College-aged students will enjoy the Linda Vista neighborhood, which offers affordable living, a safe environment, and proximity to USD. Young singles and couples tend to settle in the safe Torrey Preserve neighborhood while the Black Mountain Ranch neighborhood is better for families, offering a safe environment and a large kid population so that it’s easy to make friends.
3. New York, NY
While New York based crime shows like Law & Order give New York a bad rap for crime, it’s actually one of the cities with the fewest crime incidents per 1,000 people. Here there are 32 crimes per 1,000 residents, but with nearly 1.6 million people over 468 square miles, it’s easy to find a neighborhood that features crime rates lower than that. Among the safest in the area include Great Kills and Tottenville on Staten Island, Kensington and Borough Park in Brooklyn, the Upper East Side in Manhattan, and Riverdale in the Bronx.
4. Austin, TX
Not only is Austin, TX a decent place to live for people who hate the cold, but it’s also a safe city compared to other cities of the same size. Austin is home to nearly 833,000 people and features a crime rate of 58 per 1,000 people. Even so, violent crime rates are comparable to San Diego’s. Your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime is 1 in 243. If you’re not sure which neighborhood to live in, this quiz can help you decide.
5. San Jose, CA
San Jose’s crime rates fall in at 33 crimes per 1,000 residents, but fewer than four of those are violent in a city with over 976,000 people. In fact, your chance of falling victim to a violent crime is 1 in 274. When compared to the rest of California, your chances of being a victim of property crime is pretty average. In San Jose, it’s 1 in 34 while in the rest of California, it’s 1 in 36. Discover what residents have to say about various San Jose neighborhoods here to help narrow your search for the perfect place to settle.
6. Los Angeles, CA
Although Los Angeles is home to over 3.8 million people, it is still one of the safest US cities. The crime rate is at 28 incidents and nearly five violent crimes per 1,000 residents. In Los Angeles, your chances of becoming a victim of property crime is lower than in the rest of the state at a 1 in 43 chance. Some of the safest (and most affordable) LA neighborhoods in 2014 include Playa del Rey, Temple City, and Enchino.
7. Portland, OR
In a city of nearly 600,000, Portland’s overall crime rate is much higher than others on this list at almost 57 per 1,000 people. However, its lower five violent crimes per 1,000 residents keeps it high on the list of safer cities. Southwest Portland is a popular place for families to settle who are looking for a safe environment. This area is close enough to schools, like Lewis & Clark College, restaurants, recreation, entertainment, and more, so you don’t have to travel too far to enjoy the perks of city businesses.
8. Charlotte, NC
Charlotte is home to over 731,000 people, and the city experiences an annual crime rate of 49 crimes per 1,000 residents. However, its seven violent crimes per 1,000 people pushes it farther down the list. Still, it’s a safer city than others its size. The South Park area of Charlotte boasts a safe environment along with quality schools, some of the best golfing in the area, and South Park Mall. The many things to do nearby make South Park a great place to live and to visit.
9. Seattle, WA
Seattle features a population over 626,000 with crime rates coming in at 59 per 1,000 residents. While the overall crime rate is a bit higher than Charlotte’s, it has a slightly lower violent crime rate at six per 1,000 people. Motor vehicle thefts are high, but other crimes are fairly low for a city this size. When looking at safety, singles and families might consider settling in West Seattle, where you’ll find safe micro neighborhoods along with a beach culture.
10. San Antonio, TX
Over 1.3 million people make San Antonio their home, and they experience a crime rate of 65 per 1,000 residents. Their violent crime rates are still low at five per 1,000 residents. The city’s safety rating along with many family oriented activities make San Antonio a great place for urban families to settle. Alamo Heights is among one of the more popular neighborhoods for families, and the tight-knit sense of community means that everyone is watching out for each other. Shavano Park is well-known for being a safe neighborhood. Plus, housing in Shavano Park is more affordable than other close areas, and the nearby school features a great athletic program.
While you’re certainly better off moving to a rural area if safety is your prime concern, you can still find a safe environment in these cities when you don’t want to give up your urban lifestyle.